After meeting with Marion County High School administrators earlier this week, the TSSAA has accepted a two-step, self-imposed sanctions by the school for violating the state's practice rule.
The state's governing body accepted the recommendation by school administrators to cancel the allowed 10 days of spring practice in 2014 and also extend the summer dead period, in which players and coaches are not allowed to workout or practice on school grounds, by two weeks. The dead period for all schools runs from June 22 through July 5, but Marion will begin theirs June 15 and continue through July 12.
Those penalties are for the violation of having allowed former South Pittsburg player Raquis Hale practice with the team for four days in the week leading up to Marion's game against South Pittsburg Nov. 1.
According to TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress, the case against the school is now considered closed. There will not be any additional punishment for two football assistants allegedly taking playbooks from opponents' locker rooms.
“The allegations about breaking into opponents' locker rooms and stealing playbooks is in the hands of law enforcement now and is beyond our jurisdiction,” Childress said. “During our meeting with the administrators, and in all conversations with them throughout this process, they have been very cooperative. They were very disappointed and apologetic that those things happened.”
Childress informed the school of his decision by letter, which was received this afternoon. Essentially, the school will be punished one week for every day that Hale practiced with the Marion football team, which is the standard penalty issued by the TSSAA for similar cases in the past.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...